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Dominica weekly is a personal weblog about the nature island of Dominica.


I have been following developments at the United Nations Climate Change Conference now underway in Copenhagen with concern if not dismay.

While there have been encouraging developments, particularly the commitment by the European Union, the proposal from the United States and China, by far the world’s largest per capita contributors to the global greenhouse gas build-up, has been nothing short of apathetic.

By contrast, the EU has made a legally binding commitment to cut its emissions by 20 per cent over the same period, and would increase the cut to 30 per cent if other countries committed to “comparable action”.

China, which is now the biggest global emitter of greenhouse gases has promised carbon intensity, cuts of 40-45 per cent. Which actually only amounts to about a disappointing four per cent each year!

It’s clear that a lot still needs to be done at the talks; but I’m sure that meaningful progress will only be achieved with increased resolve by all negotiators and, especially, better management from the US and China.

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The issue of sustainable development has been a troublesome issue in many territories and the Caribbean is no exception; as the pace of development has begun and in some cases has already outstripped the rate at which our valuable and fragile ecosystem can replenish itself.

These days, the scrutiny that is being placed on the global environment is unparalleled. While the consequences of global warming were considered a far off threat, experts are now predicting them to be real and imminent danger.

How can we prepare against forces that are beyond our control? What development policies can we implement at this stage of the game to prevent any further damage to our environment?

The need for the implementation of an effective land use policy, which of course would embrace the various concerns associated with the environment. We can only blame a lack of policy on the trends and now some areas of the island are paying dearly for it.

If we fail to introduce meaningful changes in the way we have gone about building our economies, we risk losing many years of investment in the tourism sector. But alas, are we too late?

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Opposition leader, Ron Green is the first leader of any political party here to adopt a “Green Economy” as his foundation for the next general election.

Mr Green hopes to adopt a clean and green economic policy for Dominica, and fight to promote Dominica as the Nature Island of the World – a fight that will aid in sustainable environment development and the creation of sustainable jobs.

Though he is yet to detail the ramifications of “green economy” concept for Dominica, I believe that Green’s idea of a green economy for Dominica is innovative, challenging and not a minute too late.

It’s obvious that business as usual, handouts as usual and corruption as usual in our nature isle is not getting us where we want to go.

A greener economy for Dominica will no doubt create cheaper energy that will in turn create new businesses and sustainable jobs for many Dominicans. What do you think about a new energy policy for Dominica?

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